AFTER their defeat by Cove in the Championship decider in the last game of last season and again after losing to Annan in the Ramsden’s cup there have been some, mostly sotto voce, rumblings that this Formartine team are “bottlers”.
The ranks of those of that persuasion may be slightly expanded after this capitulation in the Scottish Cup to arch local rivals in a game where Formartine started rather weakly and faded thereafter in as poor a performance as they have produced in quite some time.
The continuing absence of McKeown and Hamill through injury was inevitably a contributing factor as was the perversity of Lady Luck in decreeing that not once but thrice, apparently net-bound shots [two from Mike Ewen and one from Paul Napier] should rebound to safety off the woodwork . Call it as you will, the simple fact is that Formartine were well beaten by a team that on the day, seemed the hungrier for progression to the third round of the cup and a place in the hat.
For a minute or two, certainly not much more than that, Formartine looked like they would make a game of it. After an initial foray into Formartine territory was mopped up quite competently by Campbell the ball was played through the middle at blistering pace in overlapping triangles by Napier, McVitie and Ewen until the last named, from a touch inside the left corner of the box, let fly with a ferocious drive that seemed to have keeper Reid well beaten but the ball caught the inside of the far post and somehow or other managed to rebound forward and was deflected for an unrewarded corner.
After six straight defeats at the hands of Formartine, the Locos were up for this one and their resolve not to make it a seventh was evident from that point on.
In the 8th minute Locos broke at pace down the right as Gauld took the ball to the feet of Jeffrey, showed him it, suckered him into commitment and left him for dead before pinging the ball across into the path of BAVIDGE who drove the ball firmly and accurately beyond the reach of Shearer.
In the 19th minute the home defence were again cruelly exposed , this time by a simple over the top chip by Adams that played in Neil GAULD who simply chested the ball down and smashed it on the volley to leave the despairing Shearer without an iota of a chance of reaching it.
From the Formartine perspective something had to change for the second half, and to be fair there was some improvement although their reliance on passes of over twenty yards was still an issue.
In the dying minutes Gauld broke through in the centre drew keeper Shearer, took the ball round him and contrived to slam his shot against the near post.
This two goal defeat, breaking the long derby run enjoyed by Formartine sets the scene for the final of the Aberdeenshire Cup between the same sides. Locos have rained once on Formartine’s parade, can they do it twice?